The Calculus of Hypocrisy: It’s Still a Lie Even If You Believe It

I don’t trust the Republican Party. This goes beyond disagreeing with them on every single policy position they hold. As a party, they’re deceitful, manipulative, and wholly disingenuous. It’s not even a question anymore; it’s verifiable fact. Their brand is badly damaged and is about to become completely unsalvageable.

I never bought into the post-modern notion of created reality, that all truth is subjective. In contrast, objective reality isn’t classified into strictly rigid forms Desecrates style. Objective reality doesn’t have to be something that’s true absolutely or universally only. That’s not to say there’s no such thing as a universal truth, but with our limited capacity for knowledge, finite perception, biases, and biological restrictions, having perfect knowledge is out of reach. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive toward truth. Something can be declared true or false based on a system of reason and use of fact-based evidence. It’s one of the hallmarks of the Scientific Method and a foundational principle of Western Civilization. Ideas and their subsequent implementation can be judged as better or worse using this standard. Without it, our biases, and superstitions remain unchallenged which in turn stifles progress.

To use a simple historical example: we must declare that Julius Caesar is dead. Was he a tyrant removed from power by a group of doomed idealists, or was he unjustly murdered by men wishing to hang on to their own power? Is it perhaps a little bit of both? An event’s historical significance is debatable; it’s why historians still have jobs, but certain immutable facts aren’t. Today, Ceasar is dead and while that might not seem like much, it’s an unspoken, mutually agreed upon starting point. That debate rests within a historical space and while it might be altered, enlarged, or constricted, it cannot run on indefinitely.

This is the rot within the Republican Party. Thanks to Karl Rove, the Architect, the GOP abandoned notions of objective reality in an effort to win elections. They’ve latched onto their own created delusion and show no signs of changing. If they can’t effectively message whatever reality they’re trying to create, then they simply change their position to be counter to the opposition. They’re not concerned with what’s actual. It’s about how they can bend actual to their will but their grip is weakening.

Though cynical and insidious, this strategy has worked so effectively that it won’t be easily abandoned. It created a path to power for Newt Gingrich to become Speaker of the House and propelled George W. Bush to the Oval Office twice. But like all things, this strategy was based on historical/cultural context that’s no longer relevant.

In 2004, the 9/11 Terrorist attacks were still fresh on everyone’s minds. The mainstream media wasn’t questioning the Bush Administration’s motives or evidence for going to war in Iraq. Gays were still a convenient moral scapegoat. The GOP was still trying to court Hispanic voters, the fastest growing voter demographic, instead of alienating them. But most importantly, social media hadn’t exploded in such a way to catch the GOP in every jackass thing they did.

It was a time when Bill O’Reilly said that loyal Americans needed to “Shut Up!” before questioning the Bush Administration’s policies on Iraq. Then, he proceeded to extrapolate that to everything the GOP did. Essentially saying that the Bush Administration was right because they did it and you shouldn’t question what they do . . . ever . . . to do so would be disloyal.

I wasn’t really shocked to hear the Republican National Committee had officially denounced all the NSA surveillance programs they put into place as “unconstitutional”. (Note: Bob Cesca has a takedown of the GOP’s hypocrisy well worth reading.) This is just another cynical attempt using the Karl Rove playbook to get single issue voters on their side, in this case, radical right Libertarians or far leftists so blinded to everything else that they’d actually support the GOP.

The GOP has already demonstrated they don’t really care about national security, turning tragedies into fake scandals. You can’t chant “Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!”, pretending to care about security for our Foreign Service personnel after you cut funding for embassy security. Your media arm, Fox News, doesn’t edit Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s response to make it look like she’s being callous when she’s, in fact, pointing out your own hypocrisy. You don’t get to say you’re “going to get to the bottom of this!” when you are the bottom of this!

You don’t get to say you’re “going to get to the bottom of this!” when you are the bottom of this!

However, it extends beyond obfuscation of the truth. They’ve embraced George Costanza’s motto: “It’s not a lie… If you believe it.” It’s humorous when a fictional character claims that as a truth, but when it’s the foundation for 1 of the 2 viable political parties in the most powerful nation the world has ever known, having cause for trepidation becomes a woefully inadequate response. On the borderline of sheer fucking terror is about the right setting.

What’s even more distressing is the Republican Party simply refuses to accept the harm that their delusional mentality is not only doing to themselves but to the rest of us as well. For better or worse, we have a two party system and with one party off in right wing, fantastical fatherland, we will never have an honest debate. In politics, it’s difficult, even in the most civil of times, to get close to an accurate accounting of any problem. And, in this hyper-partisan era, with one party given impunity to spout anything they want by a complicit corporate-owned media, along with an apathetic voting public, it’s no wonder change doesn’t come quickly or if it all. It’s incremental.

Just over a year ago, Gov. Jindal of Louisiana said that the GOP needs to “stop being the stupid party”. He said that they should end dumbed-down conservatism and, basically, needed to get better at delivering their message. Even the so-called voices of reasoning aren’t calling for a re-examination of these values. For them messaging and candidates is the problem, not the actual message itself.

Political messaging isn’t the GOP’s problem. They are, or were, before the public rift with the Tea Party faction, an extremely disciplined party. They have their own propaganda network, Fox News, and some of the most influential names in radio are conservatives. But, as Stringer Bell found out in Season 3 of The Wire, you can change the name of your product, hype it up, but inevitably your customer base will realize it’s inferior and go to your competition.

Revamping your message and picking candidates who can deliver busllshit with a little more finesse are short term solutions. The GOP is faced with long term demographic and policy problems that have no easy answers. So far, they show no signs of wanting to deal with them effectively. Even dumping in more money won’t help, especially if they’re fighting against the monster they created and depend on.

So, suddenly, declaring NSA spying “unconstitutional”, just like they did with ACA, another program based on something they created, isn’t going to help them win and neither will extensive gerrymandering House districts. Dismissing accusations of a war on women by introducing more anti-abortion measures won’t do it either. Using babies as props isn’t going to change anyone’s mind on regressive policy positions.

Then again, with the mainstream media’s obsession with jackass celebrities maybe the GOP will manage to sneak one in…

  • nathkatun7

    Great post! Thank you, Frederick Poag, for speaking TRUTH.

  • feloniousgrammar

    “I never bought into the post-modern notion of created reality, that all truth is subjective. ”

    This is a gross oversimplification of post-modernism. A lot of what is taken for granted as truth is a myth created by a dominant class to maintain power over others. A lot of what is considered “objective” is actually the opinion of the ruling class. See Texas textbooks as an illustration.

    • Frederic Poag

      It wouldn’t be a gross oversimplification if you posted the subsequent sentences where I back up my claim.

      I don’t buy into created reality. I think it’s delusion. Because if you say that truth is merely a myth created by the oppressor class, that’s still a created, i.e. false reality. If you move into all truth is subjective, i.e. relative to the subject than you can no longer compare ideas as being true or false. There’s no standard. It’s just what you think. There’s no reality outside of your own perception.

      And I defined objective truth as being something that can be determined true or false i.e. Julius Caesar is dead. That’s an objective truth. It’s a starting point. What his life and death means is up for debate.

  • konnie

    please don’t interfere with their self-destruction. allow them full access to the cliff.

    • Scopedog

      Agreed, but the problem is that they might take the country over the cliff with them.

  • Benthedailybanter

    Awesome article Frederic.

  • John

    Frederic, applying your logic, the Democrats are lazy, dumb, stupid, baby killing, war mongering, economy destroying, commie, pinkos. Just because you say it don’t make it so. Oh I did leave out LYING perhaps the most descriptive, accurate adjective one can use in referring to Democrats.

    • Sabyen91

      You have some fucked up logic.

    • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

      What the HELL are you talking about?

    • Badgerite

      The economy melted down in the fall of 2008 ( the fall of, well before the election of Barack Obama as I do remember John McCain ‘suspending’ his campaign to go back to Washington and pretend to have an affect). The meltdown that wrecked the economy occurred under GOP presidents and GOP leadership in Congress, mostly.
      Hank Paulson and Ben Berneke were not Democrats or or appointees of a demcoratic president, now were they?
      When Barack Obama came into office the country was bleeding jobs. Two months, about, into his administration he had stopped the bleeding and job growth was again underway. But the damage had been done. So, speaking of lying.
      “Lazy, dumb, stupid, commie, pinkos”. So’s your mama. (Stupid insults)
      “War mongering”? Barack Obama has finally withdrawn US forces from Iraq and troops are scheduled to come home from Afghanistan in 2014. No wars have been started by the US under his leadership.
      “Baby killing”? The Supreme Court recognized a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child in Roe v Wade. The Justice who wrote the opinion was Justice Harry Blackmun who was appointed by Richard Nixon, that well known member of the Democratic party. In his previous life he had been the attorney for the Mayo Clinic. There was a great deal of medical evidence presented in the case as to fetal development and when it could be said that a person was developing as opposed to a fetus. The evidence had to do with development of a nervous system among other things. It was a Republican dominated court that decided Roe and every abortion case since then. It is still the law of the land. The Republicans refuse to propose a constitutional amendment on the subject because they know it would split their party and lose the vote of even Republican women. So
      Lying and deceptive?

    • ThunderingTom

      John is just repeating what he heard on hate radio! Don’t be hard on him, He cannot read.

  • Bea Logical

    1. Referring to another op-Ed piece is hardly pointing to verifiable facts.
    2. Every flip-flop, fact-skewing act you accuse republicans of doing has been done by democrats just as much.
    3. Cutting funding for an overall defense budget is hardly the same thing as refusing to deploy help that’s in the area when an actual attack is happening.
    4. “Far right libertarians” (whatever they are), if they actually are
    libertarians, still only support legislation that removes federal
    control from places they don’t belong.
    5. Stringer Bell learned (in season 2) that changing the marketing is exactly what companies do when they’re trying to appease an ignorant public. Either you need to rewatch that episode, or I’m forgetting something in season 3.
    6. Nobody disagrees that republicans started some bad shit with the Patriot Act and with the original idea of an individual mandate for health care. But you cannot equate an original idea with the end result when myriad hands have been involved since then, tweaking (sometimes massively) the original plan/idea. That’s like saying your great-great-great-great-grandmother starting to can meat is responsible for an outbreak of botulism from bad cans of Spam in 1962.

    I think everyone can agree that most republican are living in a fantasy land, trying to cram their agendas down all Americans throats … but aren’t most democrats doing the same thing? It’s the idiotic fallacy that government can come up with one-size-fits-all solutions for the American people.
    The only solution is to quit allowing the federal government to regulate society’s behavior. If a law is necessary, it should be run by a state, so at least people can move away easily if they can’t get behind it.

    Furthermore, a two-party system is also a problem in and of itself. When you can’t expect voters to do their homework and be involved in issues that matter to them, you end up with wild swings in government behavior, which helps nobody. Our politicians (on both sides) need to quit pandering to ignorant voters who want to just push the button for party-line vote, and actually think and speak for themselves and for policies/ideas on their own merit.

    • formerlywhatithink

      Typical states right, “libertarian” screed of playing the false equivalency game between Republicans and Democrats so you can declare “look how above it all us Libertarians are, hur, hur, hur.” Since I just got off work, I don’t have the energy to type out my normal response (maybe tomorrow), so I will leave you with this:

      http://seattle98.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/1112.jpg

      • Bea Logical

        I beg to differ. It’s not a false equivalency, I just think all career politicians are guilty of everything he listed.

        And I’m sorry you only know arrogant dick bag libertarians. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, I just think I know better than anyone else what’s best for me.

        • Sabyen91

          And you don’t care what is best for society. If you are fine, fuck everybody else.

          • Bea Logical

            Again, I don’t know what asshole libertarians you have been talking to, but that’s certainly not what I believe or how I behave.
            I absolutely believe in helping others and doing whatever we can to provide a safe community and programs to help those in need. I just don’t think they should come from the government. It comes down to the very simple and very true fact that nobody can really know what is best for another adult. People should be free to fulfill their own desires as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else and doesn’t take anyone else’s stuff.
            A group of happy individuals *is* what’s best for society. Not some third party’s grand plan that doesn’t take into account individual experience, history, preference, and situation.

          • David L.

            “…and doesn’t take anyone else’s stuff.” See, right there, with that simple phrase, I get the impression that one of the things you value the most in the whole world is the right to private property. Which is fine, but usually this mindset extends to the idea that taxes are tyrannical levies which impugn our right to private property; in essence, to keep our hard-earned riches. In the end, the foundation of this philosophy boils down to a certain degree of “selfishness”(at least regarding the aversion to taxation) rather than a primordial concern for “liberty.” I don’t get why you think that social assistance, in any form, is inherently tainted if it comes from the government. The government isn’t some dark entity looking down on us from the Death Star, but simply the institutionalization of political activity at the Nation-State level… which can include, among other public policies, a progressive redistribution of income. Why not? Ah, but it’s that last part that bugs you, I guess. You’d rather have families (adults and children) depending on the goodwill and charity of other (more prosperous, no thanks to that oppressive government!) benevolent adults. I’m not sure you would last long in that situation, nor would most people who would be forced to forfeit their dignity in order to be good enough at the job of begging rich people for pennies and crumbs.

          • Bea Logical

            It’s not necessarily tainted, it’s less efficient, which means less helpful when it comes to charity. There have been studies that show for every $1 given to a person in need by the government, they have to take $3. That is, for every dollar taken in taxes, only 1/3 of it actually reaches the program it’s intended for. The rest go to keeping the federal machine running. (http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_2/21_2_1.pdf) Private charities have the opposite record — for every $3 raised, $2 reaches the intended target. Most charities actually have far better administrative rates than 30%. In fact, I wouldn’t donate to any that have higher than 15% administrative costs, personally. (www.charitychoices.com) Is one resource for comparison.
            My primary concern, however, is that I don’t trust a politician to decide for me how my money can be of the most help. I think giving should be community-based, so people can actually see the people in need, and consequently see the effect their giving has on those lives.
            There’s a chart out there in the interwebs somewhere that I can’t find now that shows a direct inverse relationship with the level of taxation and the amount of charitable giving. And since we know privately-given money is more effective than publicly taken money, it makes sense to keep the government out of the picture so people can actually be helped.

          • David L.

            You’re equating non-profits to the government, which should be a big no-no, since you can’t compare the level of bureaucracy involved in administering a 300+ million population with the one needed at a local food bank. And it’s ridiculous to assume that charities could take on the burdens of income inequality, unemployment, malnutrition, healthcare, or retirement, to name a few, in every corner of the country. You know any charity with a 3.77 trillion dollar budget?

            If giving should be community-based, say goodbye to most Red States, economically speaking. The federal redistribution of tax dollars is the only way those paradises of free enterprise stay afloat.

            There are a bunch of studies (which I can’t be bothered to google now) that show a direct inverse relationship between gross wealth and charitable giving as a proportion of income, meaning that poor people tend to give more, in terms of percentage, because of the simple and commonsensical fact that the rich tend to be, in general, greedier (even if they donate 1000 bucks to their church every year, it’s peanuts compared to their total income). This may not even contradict your claim of taxation levels, since I wouldn’t be surprised that the people who give the most, in relative terms, are the ones who don’t pay federal income taxes, that 47% Mitt Romney shat upon with so much plutocratic glee.

            “It makes sense to keep the government out of the picture so people can actually be helped.” Are you saying that people aren’t being helped, right now, because of the government’s intrusion? Is the government secretly confiscating those awesome charities’ funds, or what? There are quite a few NGOs out there (40,000 worldwide, by the most conservative estimates), how come they haven’t erradicated poverty, world hunger or malaria by now? Oh, of course, it’s because the oligarchs and timocrats were Taxed Enough Already, so they couldn’t donate more to the poor plebeians starving in the cold because of the evil gubbinmint stealing their hard-earned greenbacks. By your logic, we should renounce our unemployment benefits or SNAP programs in favor of a system where our livelihood depends on being on the radar or list of some Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No thanks. I’d rather have the leviathan, thank you very much.

          • Bea Logical

            That’s just it, though! By necessity, any government catering to over 300 million people isn’t going to be efficient, and is going to be damn hard to hold accountable in any cases of fraud or abuse. Hence why downsizing would be better for our wallets as well as those that need it.
            Only 8 of the 21 states (and 4 of those are in the bottom 5) that received more federal spending than contributed to federal revenue in 2012 were red states. So there goes your argument about red states being economically crippled by reducing federal spending. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state)
            What I’m saying is that 2/3 of every federal dollar goes to some bureaucrat in an office instead of people that need it. So what I’m saying is that people would be helped more, and ARE helped more, when you give your money to private efforts as opposed to public ones.
            You’ve got my logic exactly right, in that we should depend our livelihood on our efforts, and not on blind handouts from the leviathan. You’re welcome to have your leviathan, in your state. I don’t see why it’s a threat to let it be managed on a state by state basis, if you’re so sure that the government is the best way to help people.

          • David L.

            It’s not a threat, but there’s a reason the name of the country isn’t the Confederate States of America. It’d be unfair to have people who live in the great state of Mississippi suffer the painful consequences of living in a state with a state government and legislature composed of sponge-brained fools, while citizens in more progressive states enjoy the privileges of a more socially-minded (read: urban) political climate. Mississippians are also Americans, and it should matter to the rest of the nation whether they are, as a state, topping most negative rankings in the country (highest rate of low literacy, highest poverty rate, including highest child poverty rate, lowest per capita income…). And don’t start with the “you can move to another state” fallacy; not everyone can afford the luxury of moving away from their hometowns on a whim.

            By the way, regarding bureaucrats, federal workers aren’t a drag on the economy. Investing in a strong public sector is a good idea (especially in times of recession), as public servants with decent wages will spend more and therefore boost aggregate demand. Well, you’ll dismiss such keynesian notions with some friedmanesque bullshit anyways, so no point arguing on that front.

          • Bea Logical

            Or Von Mises, or Hayek. :-)
            You’re right, no point in arguing over these details. Clearly our approaches are antithetical. The only response I feel compelled to add is that moving to another state because of deep dissatisfaction isn’t on a ‘whim’, and it’s a lot easier to move to another state than it is to another country. I don’t think you should lock people in to a situation they oppose. If they don’t like it, they can either move or get active in local politics. At least there’s a chance of effecting change if the unsatisfactory legislation is only on a state level instead of federal.

          • Badgerite

            Do you know why we designate national defense to the federal government and not leave it as a proposition of state law?
            We do that because the stakes are so high. Survival of the country.
            Likewise there are domestic issues where the stakes are equally high.
            Pollution, the safety of the food supply, issue of pollution leading to swift and damaging changes in climate. These are not issues that the “wondrous and mysterious hand of free enterprise” is going to take into account. Nor can an individual by virtue of their own individual choices have a significant enough effect to alter the outcome. Yet these issues can alter the course of life on earth. So. Your proposition that what is best for you is up to you only goes so far. There is a point where what is best for you in your own estimation will result in devastation elsewhere in society and that is why we have government and especially federal government.

          • Bea Logical

            You’re right, there is always a point at which a private person’s (or business) actions affect other people’s health, property, and well-being. And that is when legislation should step in. There should indeed be laws that give people recourse when their private property (which includes their bodies, and therefore health) is affected. I’m pretty sure those laws are already in place and agree that they should be enforced. But I don’t see why that needs to be the federal government’s responsibility.

          • Badgerite

            Yes, I know I am right. You don’t need to tell me that because I already know. And your comment is a dodge. You evade the central point of my comment. I am not referring to recourse to law AFTER
            the harm has occurred. That is tort or criminal law. I am referring to issues of governance. When Eisenhower built the interstate highway system, he did it to further the aims of every state in the Union. Same as the transcontinental railroad was built to further the aims of the nation as a whole. And no, states could not have done that. The FAA, regulates air safety. No, a state could not effectively do that.
            The FDA regulates the national food supply to maintain its safety. No a state could not do that, since the food supply comes often from other countries as well as other states. And if you traveled to another state, could you be sure that what you were eating at a restaurant was safe. Do you need to risk the life of your child to find out and then resort to tort law for recompense? I think not.
            Air and water know no borders. Therefore, pollution knows no borders. Therefore national laws with respect to pollution are necessary. State laws will not do. And no, you could not rely on the court system alone to deal with the issue. It would be a mess.
            A dangerous mess.
            We tried that confederation of states thing already. For about ten years. It didn’t work out very well. Which is why we now have the United States constitution and a strong central, federal government.
            Even then, we needed one.

          • Ace Dilliott

            Wow. Act like a smug cunt much?

          • Badgerite

            There, there! I know it is hard when you don’t have a single intelligent thought rattling around in what passes for your brain.
            Sorry about that. It must be difficult.

          • Ace Dilliott

            Teeheehee!

          • Bea Logical

            Why do you guys keep trying to imply that I’m promoting a total separation of the states again? That’s not what I’m saying.
            Anyway. I’m glad you sleep well at night, assured of your brilliance. You clearly enjoy telling yourself how right you are.

            My comment was not a dodge. You may not have been referring to recourse after an issue has occurred, but I am. Think about it. Right now, when it comes to EPA regulations, or food safety regulations … it doesn’t actually prevent people or companies from breaking the rules. Those agencies step in when violations occur and then move in to do something about it. My proposal is no different, it’s just on a smaller and more local scale.
            When I travel, I look at reviews of unknown food establishments before I eat there. So I would go as an educated consumer, and if I (or my child) did get sick, I would seek compensation for any medical bills. Having rules does not prevent mishandling of food.

          • Badgerite

            Children do more then ‘get sick’ from food poisoning. Children and adults frequently die from food poisoning.
            Your proposal is actually quite different. The EPA regulations seek to address the danger of pollution before the harm is caused by virtue of establishing a code of conduct for businesses which those businesses and the public can then rely on. Some companies will break those laws. Most won’t. And thereby the people are secured cleaner air and cleaner water then a piece meal state or local approach could possibly secure. And businesses can do business with some assurance that they will not be sued into oblivion later by virtue of having committed some egregious act which results in grievous injury to individuals in particular and the public in general.
            A locality cannot ensure clean air. Nor can a state. It takes a uniform system of regulations throughout the nation based on the best science available. Not some patchwork quilt of who knows what.

            Just as the national parks system was the product of federal legislation. No state would have protected Yosemite. Or the Grand Canyon. Or Yellowstone. Those treasures would be gone by now if not for the actions of the federal government in restraining individual and state actors.

            Your idea of local or state action to protect air travel or prevent pollution of protect the food supply simply would not work to secure even the interests of the present generation. Let alone a future generation.

          • Badgerite

            Well, I’ve been watching Sherlock Holmes. The attitude rubs off.
            I apologize for that.

          • Badgerite

            So, in your world of “happy individuals”, does a business have to serve a black person at a lunch counter, as federal law requires, or no?
            If you are willing to chance your health and/or life on an unsafe product, does everyone else have to follow suit?

          • Frederic Poag

            Some how the cop out, I’m sorry the “Free Market”, will work that out. They never explain how, but magical thinking works like that.

          • Bea Logical

            Okay, last point, because I was wanted to point this out to Badgerite too–
            Why is it that just because I personally don’t know EXACTLY the best way to run some program, you think that makes a hole in the whole philosophy? If anything, my lack of assurance in the best way to solve a nation-wide problem lends credence to my argument that one person can’t know what’s best for everyone. It’s my whole point!

            And furthermore, do *you* know exactly how the current system works? Do you know exactly what the Department of Education does (and every other Department), how they’re paid, and who they report to? Probably not, but I’d never use that as ammo against you in proving that your approach is wrong. It’d be silly.

          • Frederic Poag

            Your whole point is an Appeal to Ignorance fallacy?

            Cool I’m done. Thanks for playing.

          • Bea Logical

            Read my comment again. I’m not making an assertion that my point is right only because you haven’t proven it false, I’m making the point that just because I don’t know all the answers doesn’t prove anything one way or another.
            The point is that one person can’t know the best way to run a program that affects hundreds of millions of people.
            The point is that you don’t know the exact specifics of how the current system works either, but I’m not calling you stupid.
            The point is that nobody should want to continue to hand over the reins of our lives to increasingly corrupt, increasingly powerful, political shit bag hypocrites that think they know better than everyone else. Not only that, but they continue to tell us how to run our lives, conveniently legislating us into corners, forcing is to buy “green” products because “they’re better for the environment,” when all they’re better for is GE’s pocketbook (along with every other company and politician that got in bed with them).
            It’s bullshit and you should be outraged that you’re working your ass off to pay your bills, but Congress just hands out your money to someone else because they’ve decided *they* need a leg up. Because the freakin’ federal government thinks it should decide how to level the playing field — but all they do is take money from us, then listen to lobbyists and make rules that end up lining the pockets of those that helped get them elected.
            It is no different than your parents deciding when you were a kid that your great-aunt Martha in Oregon was going to run your finances for you for your whole life, without any real chance for you to tell her what you really need. And so you get diapers and easy chapter books sent to you every month, and your parents get a stipend for your care since they set up the arrangement, despite the fact that you haven’t lived at home for 10 years.
            Letting one group decide for hundreds of millions of people what’s best is fucking stupid. That’s the point.

          • Frederic Poag

            “I’m making the point that just because I don’t know all the answers doesn’t prove anything one way or another.” I read it again. It’s called an Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy, and that won’t change regardless of how many time I read or you reword it.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

            You basically claim you don’t have all the answers, and then proceed to make a shit lot of hasty generalizations, lacking in evidence, and straw men claims as if they’re indisputable truth.

            It’s a shitastic argument logically speaking.

            So I’ll just cite Christopher Hitchens: “Ideas presented without evidence can be summarily dismissed without evidence.”

          • Bea Logical

            I’m starting to think you only skim what you read. Let’s try it this way.

            I said, “just because I don’t know all the answers doesn’t prove anything one way or the other”

            The fallacy of appealing to ignorance “asserts that a proposition IS TRUE because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa)”

            So, once again, I was not claiming my point is valid only because it’s not been disproven. I’m saying it’s possible to be right, despite not knowing all the answers. Or, to use the same wikipedia article, if you like, “the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”

            Your article provided the same amount of evidence backing up your claims as my comments have mine, so that’s a bold statement, saying my argument is shitastic, logically speaking. And according to your Hitchens quote then, I can dismiss your entire article, too. But I’m more polite than you, and not telling you your entire argument is shit just because you don’t offer specifics. I just disagree with you.

          • nathkatun7

            The Supreme law of the land under which our government is structured is the U.S. Constitution. You probably need re-aquaint yourself with the preamble of the Constitution which clearly sets out the reasons/purposes for creating The United (repeat UNITED) States Of America.
            in case you’ve forgotten here are the reasons/purposes enunciated by the Founding Fathers:
            1. The desire to form “a more perfect union”( necessitated by the ineffectiveness of the loose Confederation created in 1774).
            2. The establishment of justice
            3. Insuring domestic tranquility
            4. Providing for the common defense
            5. Promoting the GENERAL WELFARE and not INDIVIDUAL SELFISHNESS.
            6. Securing the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity..

          • Bea Logical

            I’m well aware of what the Constitution says, thanks for the snarky lesson. Also, what’s with the “UNITED” bit? I’m not promoting secession here …

            It doesn’t say that in order to provide for the general welfare our income should be taxed and spent on pet projects of some career politician. That’s not exactly a blessing of liberty, and it sure doesn’t lead to most people’s posterity, either.

            Feeding the bureaucratic beast only leads to more cronyism and regulation that favors the corporations that can afford lobbyists. Our country is founded on principles of individual freedoms and equality, not favors for the people that have the ear of those in office.

          • Badgerite

            Let me explain to you how important those federal programs were to my retired parents. Without Medicare, my parents, when they got older and sick, would probably not have been able to get any health insurance at all. Charity or no charity. As it was, Medicare, along with a supplemental policy to cover the uncovered expenses, took care of ALL of their medical bills. I don’t know what their children would have done, if we had not been able to get them medical care when they needed it. And :

            “It doesn’t say that in order to provide for the general welfare our income should be taxed and spent on pet projects of some career politician.”
            IT DOES SAY THAT, ACTUALLY. IT IS CALLED THE 16TH AMENDMENT. The Amendments are part of the constitution.
            That is why we have the amendment process whereby the people can determine that the constitution needs a change.
            There are quite a few of those things. Especially the 14th Amendment, whereby the Federal courts do indeed tell the states that they may not have laws that unequally apply to their citizens. And that is why equal protection is used in many a gay rights case. And, NO, THAT IS NOT THE PURVIEW OF THE STATES. It is also frequently used in those ‘issues of human right’ cases, you say libertarians care about.

          • Bea Logical

            Calm down, cowboy. We were talking about the preamble. I really don’t have time in my day to go through all of the individual amendments.
            Once again, I believe in all citizens being treated equally by the law…never said otherwise.

          • Badgerite

            And I quote,
            ” I’m well aware of what the constitution says, thanks for the snarky lesson. ——”
            ” It doesn’t say that in order to provide for the general welfare our income should be taxed.”
            It does not seem to me that that refers in any way, shape or form to the Preamble.
            The amendments are part of the constitution. and if you haven’t bothered to put aside the 15 minutes it might take to read them if you were a really slow reader, than you have never even read the constitution. Have you?

          • Badgerite

            No answer to my question about whether the federal government does and should have the power to restrict the behavior of businesses that do not want to serve blacks or other minorities.
            What a surprise. There is no answer. Because you are simply wrong when you say libertarians believe in guaranteeing those rights. No they don’t. Rand Paul and Ron Paul have expressly stated as much.

          • Bea Logical

            You keep posting multiple comments so that I can’t even find them all. I don’t even know what you asked about air travel, and I did respond about pollution — if it starts hurting people or their property, the offender should be held responsible.

            As I said above, I’m tired of repeating myself, so this is it for me for comments on this thread.

            No, government should not have the power to restrict the behavior of private businesses as long as they’re not breaking any laws or violating anyone’s basic human right. Being seated in a diner is not a basic right. Any business that’s stupid enough to partake in that kind of bigotry in this day and age wouldn’t be open very long, and there would be plenty of other options for food establishments run by non-bigoted non-morons.

            That is not the same thing as refusing a person their right to register to vote, or get a driver’s license, or any other public matter. That is a matter of treatment of the law, and that is indeed what we not only guarantee but would fight tooth and nail for.

            So don’t oversimplify what you don’t understand.

          • Badgerite

            Seriously, the “offender should be held responsible” by who. Your local sheriff? This is the problem with ‘libertarians’. More often then not what their arguments amount to is actually laissez faire capitalism of days gone by. Corporations who do the polluting are not only national but international thereby bringing into the equation issues of international relations. The world is simply not the world that existed even a 100 years ago.
            In short, your theories of government would lead to nothing but abuse and chaos. And would certainly not secure the welfare of liberties of its citizens.

          • Badgerite

            No answer as what would be done as well about air pollution. Or air travel. Or any of the goings on in the nation that by their nature cross all state borders. You ‘ideas’ are poorly thought out and do not address the needs of a modern nation. And that is my definition of libertarian.

          • Ace Dilliott

            Do you ever finger your own asshole, lick your finger, and tell yourself your ass tastes better than anybody else’s ass? You seem like the kind of person that would.

    • Frederic Poag

      “I think everyone can agree that most republican are living in a fantasy
      land, trying to cram their agendas down all Americans throats.”

      Exactly. That’s the entire point of my article. The rest of your response is creating a false equivalence, and adding in things I didn’t write.

      • Bea Logical

        Really? You want to claim that democrats are not guilty of trying to force their agendas down our throats too?

        • Frederic Poag

          Give me some examples so I know what you’re talking about.

          • Bea Logical

            I should think the most obvious is the most recent, that is the ACA: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/30/healthplan_n_725503.html
            The democrats forced the bill through despite the fact that most Americans opposed the idea.

          • ThunderingTom

            Most Americans opposed the idea because RWers disinformation. Massachusetts citizens are happy with their ACA. Come Nov. the RWers will not being mentioning it. Oh, excuse me, I forgot the Benghazi Tactic.

          • Sean Richardson

            So your claim is that legally passing a law following the Constitution is “forcing” an “agenda” down somebody’s “throat”?

            Funny, I thought you guys believed in the Constitution.

          • Bea Logical

            Since the only way to make a law is to pass legislation through both houses, that is indeed the “legal” way to “pass a law[sic]“. When it’s legislation *you* don’t agree with, don’t you feel like it’s crammed down your throat? That was the original question. No matter who originates the legislation, to those that oppose it, it comes across as forcefully encouraging an agenda.

          • Frederic Poag

            It’s called Democracy. Everyone doesn’t what they want.

            That’s why we had an election. If the American People hated it so much we’d be talking about President Romney and the Republican Senate.

    • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

      The only solution is to quit allowing the federal government to regulate society’s behavior. If a law is necessary, it should be run by a state, so at least people can move away easily if they can’t get behind it.

      Yes, because that worked so well for civil rights. Or voting rights. Or resolving the issue of slavery. Not to mention food and pollution regulations, education, disaster relief, military spending, marriage laws (since you can be married in one state, but not have it recognized if you enter another).

      And it does amaze me that you seem to think that state governments are somehow “better” simply because you can move away with less hassle. That is still another short-sighted solution to major problems.

      • Bea Logical

        Those first issues you listed are all basic human rights, guaranteed by the constitution that should absolutely be upheld by federal courts. That’s one of their few legitimate jobs. However, food and pollution regulations, education, and marriage laws have no business being legislated by the feds. Those are local issues and should be dealt with locally. That is, on a state level.
        I think state governments are better because they’re dealing with a slightly more homogeneous population than the entire United States, and because there’s some hope of oversight since they are closer to home and more likely to be held accountable for actions their constituents don’t approve of.

        I’m really not making any radical arguments here, guys –

        • ThunderingTom

          South Carolina is teaching Creationism and not teaching that the earth is several billions years old and that homo sapiens have been walking on this earth for 250 Million years. So I vehemently dis agree with you. We all deserve a good education with separation of state and religion.

          • Bea Logical

            We’re getting into specifics, which wasn’t the point of my original comment. This board is not the place for nitpicking the pros and cons of individual legislation.
            (That being said, I think creationism is bullshit and we should all do what we can to demonstrate how dangerous and backwards it is to put religion into science/education. Faith has no place in government methods and organizations. So, I agree that it should not be taught in public schools.)

          • Badgerite

            Specifics are what really matter. They tell you if your over arching theories will actually work in the real world. If the consequences experienced will be good or bad.

    • Badgerite

      You know, they made the same charges against Les Aspen when he was Secretary of Defense during the Blackhawk down episode in Somalia. And it was about as true then as it is now.

    • Badgerite

      “Far right libertarians still only support legislation that removes federal control from places where they do not belong.”
      Like where? Your statement is more a protestation of FAITH than of fact. You don’t even specify what legislation you are referring to. The only word you use that has any basis in fact is the word “legislation”. We know there is legislation. We just don’t know anything about the legislation you are referring to and therefore cannot point out why you are wrong. It is a statement demonstrating that you WANT something to be true. Rather than something that IS true.

      • Bea Logical

        This article is dealing in generalities, I am replying in kind. My point was that I don’t know what a far right libertarian would look like. And that if such a creature actually existed, if he/she was actually a libertarian, their legislative agenda wouldn’t be forcing any programs through that would regulate people’s behavior, since libertarians don’t believe in legislating behavior (beyond guaranteeing basic human rights and equal treatment under the law).

        • Badgerite

          So do you think a Black person or other minority have a right to be served at any public establishment? Is that a basic human right?
          All the libertarians I know ( see Rand and Ron Paul) say no. The right to be seated and served at public establishments is guaranteed by Federal legislation through the invocation of the Commerce Clause.
          That would be regulating people’s behavior, wouldn’t it?
          What’s more, people used to put restrictive covenants in the land titles which meant that the land could never be sold to whoever the original owner specified in the title ( see, Black, Jews, etc) .
          That meant that a single bigot getting his hands on a parcel of land could enforce his bigotry on future generations in perpetuity.
          The courts have refused to enforce these racial covenants. But I have heard libertarians argue that that is a violation of contract law.
          etc. In fact, libertarians do not believe in guaranteeing basic human rights unless you have a very restrictive view of what that means.

          • Ace Dilliott

            I believe you have the right to stick my balls in your mouth and enjoy the salty, refreshing taste of freedom and duck butter.

          • Badgerite

            I think I’ll decline that. Thanks anyway.

          • Ace Dilliott

            Less talking and more sucking, please.

          • Badgerite

            Sorry. No interest.

          • Bea Logical

            I think all humans have a right to be served at a public establishment. All people should always be treated equally when it comes to matters of the law. That right there is the true core of libertarianism — equal treatment, no favors, no special help, no incentives to do whatever the feds decide one year they want to promote.

            You may be be confusing the issue of public and private treatment of individuals. Regulating people’s behavior in private is certainly something that most libertarians frown upon.

            I’ve never heard of restrictive covenants in land titles before, but it’s an interesting question. I think it’s a shitty thing to do, but I think it’s a person’s choice how their property should be disposed of after their death. That being said, I can’t see how that could be passed on after the second owner. I’ve never bought land before, but I’ve bought cars outright, and once it’s mine, I can do with it as I please, so I don’t get how a former land owner could determine how (or to whom) the second owner chooses to use or sell their land.
            In conclusion, all I can say is that you and I clearly have a different idea of what constitutes basic human rights, and of the difference between private and public. So I don’t see much point in continuing an argument that has nothing to do with the original article or even my original comment.
            We’re never going to agree, and we’re never going to convince each other, so I’m kind of tired of repeating my point of view that remains the same no matter the quirky situation you try to trap me in.

          • Badgerite

            I’m not seeking your agreement. I’m seeking clarification of what you espouse on a more particularized level than you had previously given.
            You don’t hear of restrictive racial covenants in land titles because the courts refuse to enforce them. They don’t exist so far as enforcing an owners discriminatory intent on future owners. But restrictions on land titles do indeed exist. You can specify what you want the land to be used for and it is binding on the person who purchases it, or who you want the land to go to as in fee simple ( for the person’s lifetime ) to one person and remainder title ( after that person dies) to another. etc. It isn’t like buying a car. But I digress.
            You state that you think that all persons have a right to be served at a public establishment. So do I. And no the market place had not made that right a reality. It took the federal government acting under the authority of the Commerce Clause to regulate interstate commerce to ban discrimination in public business and accommodations. Likewise the federal government bans unequal pay based on gender and many other wrongs done by the market place and by individuals left to their own devices. Equal pay for equal work is not a ‘special favor’. Nor is the right to partake of public accommodations without thought to one’s gender, religion or race.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Yep, the right is counting on the mainstream media – one they have demonized in the past for being a spawning ground for liberalism – to help distract the public with big, shiny stupid things (Bieber) that help take the focus off of their nefarious plans. As well as members of the far left to do what they always do and wipe their asses with their vote come November, by either staying home election night or vote for a third party candidate, so that they can sneak in and grasp victory from the jaws of defeat.

  • Otto66

    You’ve managed to capture all the things I know to be true and expertly articulate them. Thank you.

  • David L.
    • Frederic Poag

      This is why you rule David. Kudos for catching the reference. :)

    • Bea Logical

      I’m glad you posted the actual clip. If that’s what Frederic was talking about, that doesn’t lend credence to his argument. In fact, according to his account of republican behavior, they’re doing exactly what Stringer learned to do.

      Am I missing something?

      • Sabyen91

        Uh…that is exactly his point. There messaging is fine (the lying about their product.) When it comes down to it though their customers will realize their product (Republican policies) is bad. You can talk it up all you want but if it is a turd it is a turd.

        • Frederic Poag

          We have a winner! Kudos points to Sabyen91! *hands out 100 Kudos*

        • Bea Logical

          I am fully aware that that was his overall point. More importantly, that it’s also a truism. However, what I was trying to point out was that Frederic’s wording in this example is showing the opposite. Look:
          “you can change the name of your product, hype it up, but inevitably your
          customer base will realize it’s inferior and go to your competition.”

          That’s the author’s point, right? But in the clip above, the entire lesson Stringer learns is that all you have to do to retain your customers when your product sucks is to change the name and jazz up the marketing. At no point in this episode does he ask “what happens when they realize the ‘second product’ is as bad as the first?” He just does what he has to do to keep his customers on the hook.

          So that’s a bad example of people realizing a turd is a turd and fleeing towards the competition.

          • Frederic Poag

            It’s a short term solution, and It actually doesn’t work. There’s a scene with Bubbles and Johnny Weeks where they talk about Pandemic, Stringer’s “new” drug, being shit. So to get more product Stringer makes a deal with Prop Joe.

            My point the GOP’s “fix”, i.e. better messaging and candidates, is the same thing. If your message, i.e. policies, are shit than they’re shit. No amount of spin will change that over the long haul.

            To quote Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the
            time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all
            of the people all of the time.”

            The days of the GOP fooling everyone are coming to an end.

          • Sean Richardson

            Pandemic is season 4, when Bodie is working for Marlo.

            The problem with season 2 is that they change the names constantly (as referenced in the article), but I believe that the package is being called “yellow tops” at the point to which you refer.

          • Frederic Poag

            I stand corrected. :) Now I have an excuse to watch the series again since my mastery of all things The Wire is slipping.

          • Sean Richardson

            “But in the clip above”

            That clip is the set-up for the point being referred to in the article. The pay-off is later, when Bodie explains to Stringer that they have re-named the package too many times, and the fiends are wise to their tricks and are no longer buying from any Barksdale hoppers.